Dublin a la Los Angeles?

Our buddies over in LA tipped us off to this interesting bit of news from our side of the pond:

Think tank predicts LA-style sprawl

Dublin will soon have a footprint the same size as Los Angeles with less than a quarter of its population, a planning think tank said today.

With the population expected to grow by more than one million over the next 20 years, the Urban Forum today expressed serious concerns for the health of people living in an ever-expanding Greater Dublin Area.

It warned that time-consuming commuting and a lack of facilities could lead to higher levels of stress, diabetes, heart disease and childhood obesity.

Ireland is already one of the most car-dependent countries in the EU and one of the most oil-dependent in the world.

From Ireland.com. It’s interesting stuff–Dublin has been at the top of the fastest-growing European cities list for the last five years, due in no small part to the rise of the Euro in international currency and the amazing effects of the Celtic tiger. But to compare Dublin to a city like LA takes on a whole new level of thought for the city–how many people actually do live here? How does having such a large population in a relatively tight space (as compared, for example, with Los Angeles’ urban sprawl) affect the quality of life of the city’s inhabitants? Over the last few months here at the Dub Metblog we’ve talked about the challenges of the bus service, the overpriced but desparately needed tram/train to the airport, the rising costs and difficult acquisition of apartments and living spaces. This just confirms, in statistics and numbers, what we’ve all been feeling: Dublin is kind of like living in a pressure cooker.

Something is going to have to change–urban planning will need to take a new direction and actually address some of the issues raised here, and goverment will need to fast-track it and not just debate endlessly about what the city needs in theory when the reality is banging at our doorstep. This report may be the first step towards enacting change and not just talking it to death.

ETA: The LA Metblog picked this up for discussion over there, too.

2 Comments so far

  1. iblees (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 11:46 pm

    Just want to add a thought regarding urban planning, considering the size of the city,population and trends, the vertical growth of the city could be better than growing horizontally. I read somewhere that there used to be (or still is) a law against constructing buildings higher than certain height, is it true?

    This City is what it is because our citizens are what they are. ~Plato

  2. SA Anders (unregistered) on February 20th, 2007 @ 8:39 pm

    I think so. It was in line with the Georgian building ideal–all the gorgeous terraced houses inspired an architectural standard in Dublin that is in some ways unparalleled. But I doubt it still exists! Look at all the huge new apartment buildings that are being constructed everywhere.

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